Wheeling up to a real live president
Leola Haley, a 73-year-old Rolesville resident, saw President Reagan in October 1982 when Reagan visited the Raleigh Civic Center to campaign for Republican candidates and to give singer Kate Smith the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Accompanied by her pastor, she maneuvered crowded lines while in a wheelchair to see and hear the president.
Memory of that day: "I was in a wheelchair, and I sat in the third row from the front. We just thoroughly enjoyed being ushered up the center and being so close to a real live president. ... He was a very big man."
How will she remember President Reagan? "I think he was a great president. I think he did a lot for our country when he was president. I feel awful sad for his family having to watch him suffer from Alzheimer's, and I hope that something can be done to treat people who suffer from it."